We never really gave much thought to coming home, after all it always seemed so distant and somewhat unwelcoming. And besides that, we were having so much fun on the road. New York City in January/February can be brutally cold and gloomy. On top of that, prospecting for new jobs and readjusting to the city’s ultra rapid beat would compound a pretty heavy duty “to do” list. Reality sure has a way of bluntly making itself present. Which is why we eased our way back into New York, trying to avert shock at all costs. So the realization that our journey was in fact concluding would take time to sink in (or so we hoped). Our hearts were still somewhere out in the world, perhaps on a quiet and lonely beach in Thailand or roaming through the streets of Prague. Ah, the sweet memories.. It’s amazing how our minds are capable of condensing such large quantities of information into little organized compartments. Our trip would eventually become stowed away in the chambers of our minds, serving as reference files for future use (hopefully it’ll serve other purposes as well). Looking back now I sure am glad we documented our journey in this blog. There is no conceivable way that we would’ve remembered all the places and things we saw and experienced. Bringing the laptop along for the ride was the right move even though at times it was a major pain to carry around.
On the flip and brighter side of coming home, rested the notion of reuniting with friends and family, something we looked forward to. After all they were the primary support base for our trip and we did miss them. But there was a particular little lady we dearly missed and thanks to the frequent Skype sessions orchestrated by her mother she hadn’t forgotten us. Elysa, our now 2 and a half year old niece was very much part of our light at the end of the tunnel. In the past 8 months she grew into an amazing, talking and running around little girl (in fact a bilingual little girl). And it was her infectious smile that we longed to see. With all the extra time on our hands as a result of not working yet, we would be seeing plenty of her and watch her grow even more. Something tells me Brigitte would soon become a super babysitter.
It’s been a little over 2 weeks now since we got back to New York and life seems “normal” again. The novelty of feeling new in this town has completely faded away and some of New York City’s realities (good and bad), sank in. The Good: we’ve been hanging out with friends and family which makes being back feel a lot better. We’ve also gotten back in full “take-out” mode for food and luckily we have tons of great (and cheap) food place in our neighborhood. The Bad: it’s still winter and the cold will be lingering for a few more weeks. And to no surprise, the MTA raised their fares once again for the same so-so service. But this New York City, the world’s greatest city.. right?
Another aspect of being back is getting to share our stories from the trip – highlighting the cultural differences and customs, the people, the wacky things we saw and how we interacted with everything. Yesterday I had the pleasure of doing just that in front of 3 different groups of students at my sister’s school. They were a young audience (5 – 11 years old), but it was amazing to see how they soaked up the information and engaged with it. The picture of Brigitte and I with tigers in Thailand was a big hit (they all loved it). Not surprisingly, the snake picture on the other hand received mixed reactions.